Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the last book I ever read (Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures, excerpt three)

from Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures by Emma Straub:

Though Laura very much wanted to win, it was absolutely true that both Irving and her father wanted it even more. She watched their faces as the syllables came out of the actor’s mouth—Lore-ah Lah-monde—and the rest of the room, so full of applause, felt silent to her ears. All Laura could see or hear were the two men who loved her the most, now standing up to embrace each other over her head, their suit jackets flapping about her ears. Laura wedged her way between them and kissed her father on the cheek and then her husband on the mouth, being careful not to muss her lipstick. Mary remained seated, the only one at the table. Laura had a fleeting, uncharitable thought that people might think that her mother was crippled, which was better than their knowing the truth: that her mother was reluctant to stand and clap. A young man who looked like some military-school dropout appeared at the bottom of the ballroom’s staircase to help her to her podium and the microphone, where Laura blinked into the lights and said simply, “My parents are here,” which was indeed what she was thinking at the time, but not nearly for the reason the giddy audience may have thought. When they’d quieted down, and she felt more composed, Laura thanked Gardner Brothers, and all the voters, though she could have said anything at all and not realized it, so amazed was she by the heft of the statue itself, eight pounds, nearly the same as Florence when she was born, and how delightful it felt in her hands.

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